X-Cuses: iPhone X Facial Recognition Will Not Meet Expectations

Posted on October 25, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in iOS with 130 Comments

X-Cuses: iPhone X Facial Recognition Will Not Meet Expectations

In an astonishing turn of events, Apple has secretly told the press that iPhone X facial recognition will not work well. So you can pre-order an iPhone X on Friday if you want. But you may want to hold off a bit.

I assume you’re up on the self-imposed issues that Apple faces at the moment. But the short version is this: The Cupertino consumer electronics giant misfired on a new iPhone strategy this fall by launching three new models for the first time. Two of them, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, are old-fashioned looking and have faced battery reliability issues. And one of them, the iPhone X, is more forward-leaning in aping the near bezel-less screen design that Samsung innovated, but with a compromising “notch” at the top of the screen that even Apple’s biggest fans have described as a mistake.

I think most would forgive Apple the notch were it not for the iPhone X’s suspicious reliance on facial recognition for log-in. Unlike the previous several generations of iPhones, the iPhone X does not feature a Touch ID sensor for finger-based sign-ins. And with Apple unable to get in-screen fingerprint detection working in time for the launch, the firm went with plan B: Facial recognition.

Well, now it’s going with plan C. Which is to seed the press with the bad news that this technology does not work very well. In doing so, it can temper expectations for the product and assure that only its most-forgiving fans will buy an iPhone X, preventing the public embarrassment of rampant complaints.

“Apple quietly told suppliers they could reduce the accuracy of the face-recognition technology to make it easier to manufacture, according to people familiar with the situation,” Bloomberg reported. “A less accurate Face ID will still be far better than the existing Touch ID [but] the company’s decision to downgrade the technology for this model shows how hard it’s becoming to create cutting-edge features that consumers are hungry to try.”

I’m sorry, what? “A less accurate Face ID will still be far better than the existing Touch ID”? That cannot be true. Touch ID is fantastic. Even a full-working Face ID would likely not be as good.

Anyway, the Bloomberg report goes on to chronicle the Apple-centric history of what happened with iPhone X production: Apple was struggling to get sufficient components for the phone and needed fewer people to put it together. And the main culprit, its source say, was the 3D sensor that recognizes faces and unlocks the handset.

Apple’s “tight schedule” further complicated matters, Bloomberg says. It underestimated the complexity of making and assembling exceedingly fragile components, the sources told it. And this also explains why the iPhone X is shipping six weeks after the iPhone 8/Plus.

As you may know, the facial scanner in the iPhone X is based on the technology that Microsoft first used, disastrously, in its Xbox Kinect sensor. This probably explains why it works so poorly: If Microsoft could never perfect this in a relatively huge device, how could Apple’s component makers ever fit the technology into “a space a few centimeters across and millimeters deep”?

This has the makings of a disaster, and in the sense that it’s always tough to bet on first-gen technology, you might want to just take a year off on this one. I’m sure the iPhone XS (“excess”) will get it right in late 2018.

And Bloomberg has come to the same conclusion I have: Apple will likely sell fewer handsets in a launch quarter than it did the year before for the first time ever.

“Signs of weakness in iPhone 8 sales means Apple could sell fewer handsets than last year, despite all the fanfare surrounding the iPhone X,” it notes. Yep.

 

Tagged with

Join the discussion!

BECOME A THURROTT MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Register
Comments (130)

130 responses to “X-Cuses: iPhone X Facial Recognition Will Not Meet Expectations”

  1. matsan

    Not living on your side of the pond - but isn't FaceID "Tim's gift to FBI and CIA"?

    If I understand your law correctly, it is not possible to force a suspect to reveal a PIN-code. I have heard that the jury is still out regarding forcing someone to place a finger on TouchID. But FaceID?! This must be perfect - just hold the phone up to the suspect and - voila! Logged and unlocked. Same with all other barriers in the phone - just hold up the phone.


    Jeeze, what were they smoking in Cupertino.

  2. lilmoe

    While most Apple attorneys here are at it, it doesn't change the fact that Paul's (and Leo's) main rant about the removal of the tried and proven fingerprint sensor is a bad move. They could have neatly integrated it in the Apple logo on the back, without compromising the design they were aiming at.


    Face ID is the next headphone jack removal. Apple is skimping on cost to push another standard that is still unproven and not nearly as convenient. You only remove a technology when it's unused, unreliable, or if it becomes a burden to better manufacturing and design. This doesn't apply neither to the headphone jack, nor to the fingerprint sensor.


    Again, the main issue here is the removal of Touch ID. I don't care for Apple's claims of accuracy, and neither should Apple fans. When was the last time you've heard any claim that any fingerprint sensor mistakenly unlocked a device with someone else's fingerprint, or even the wrong finger of the same hand? None. Some implementations were faster or more accurate, but never "mistaken".


    Any eventual misstep of FaceID's technology, manufacturing or implementation regardless whether true or not would naturally be considered as additional inconvenience to the user, or more so as adding insult to injury. That's what I believe Paul's main issue here, and mine too. Please note that I don't always agree with Paul.

    • monkeyboy

      In reply to lilmoe:


      "They could have neatly integrated it in the Apple logo on the back, without compromising the design they were aiming at."


      Agree 100% - that's just bizarre. But the NSA loves hi-res 3D facial scans more than fingerprints, so to please the overlords...

      • kgelner

        In reply to monkeyboy:

        FaceID scans never go off the device, nice trolling though. Meanwhile you continue to use a Google device which I find DEEPLY ironic given your "concerns".

        • lilmoe

          In reply to kgelner:

          The fact that you imply that I mentioned anything that had to do with privacy or graphs being sent to a server just proves how much of a sad tool you and whoever voted you up really are.


          If i was Apple, I would use tools like you to sell even less functioning devices with double the price. I don't blame them, good for them.

    • kgelner

      In reply to lilmoe:

      The amusing thing is, you actually got one thing exactly right - removing the fingerprint reader is like removing the headphone jack. Only a handful of people will care, while everyone else will just enjoy the benefits of moving forward dropping legacy technology.

  3. Jarrett Kaufman (TurboFool)

    "...based on the technology that Microsoft first used, disastrously, in its Xbox Kinect sensor. This probably explains why it works so poorly: If Microsoft could never perfect this in a relatively huge device..."


    Wait, what? The Kinect worked stunningly well, especially in its second generation. The thing is a marvel. Its failure had zero to do with its technology and everything to do with marketing bungles and consumer interest.

    • Lauren Glenn

      In reply to TurboFool:

      And the fact that there were no compelling games for it. When the 360 version came out, everyone wanted one. Every place was sold out. It took forever for games to come out for it that people wanted to play.... eventually none really ever did besides dance games and Kinect Sports 1 & 2. Surprised they went all in on Kinect 2 when they did. It's nice to have it log me in which it does really well, but that was all it was used for for me.

  4. HellcatM

    I don't think they really changed the facial recognition, they just lied to make it sound better than it is to get pre-orders. Now they have to tell the truth before it comes out and make a lie that they have to "lessen the specs to keep up demand" so fanboys won't freak out and accept it.

  5. jdawgnoonan

    Wow Paul. You are really taking and presenting things out of context. It might be time to stop visiting this site. When there is no interesting Microsoft news you now invent stories out of conjecture.

    • monkeyboy

      In reply to jdawgnoonan:


      LOL - It literally doesn't work as advertised. And that face ID was the big software thing in iPhone X, next to the larger screen. It's not Paul's fault if he's reporting the truth.

      • kgelner

        In reply to monkeyboy:

        If it doesn't work as advertised how come in ALL of the preview videos for the X it's working just fine and the reviewers all love it??

      • jdawgnoonan

        In reply to monkeyboy:

        You, sir, are an idiot. The product “literally doesn’t work as advertised”. It isn’t even released so how do you know? You have a prerelease device evidently? Paul is now pandering to Microsoft fanboys and has left the world of reality since he covers technology that few actually care about. I like Microsoft, but Paul is as dated as Leo Laporte and I’m done with this site. You, and Paul, now treat rumors as fact.

      • GT Tecolotecreek

        In reply to monkeyboy:

        Are you saying Face ID doesn't work? It hasn't even shipped yet so how would you know?

        And Paul was reporting a rumor without a source, second hand, which Apple addressed directly. That is no where near reporting any truth.

  6. pesos

    This story needs updating.

  7. DaddyBrownJr

    I really am getting tired of all the opinion pieces and "news" articles (not just on this site) that get hysterical about supposed weaknesses of products that aren't even released yet. How about people actually getting their hands on the product and seeing if it works or not before doing all the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments?

    • unfalln

      In reply to DaddyBrownJr:

      Your issue is a bit misguided in this article. This is based on news that Apple has notified the press that the face recognition is not as good as intended. It's based on a sequence of real-world, pre-existing events. This is by no means in the same vein as a story comparing the iPhone X with the Samsung GS9+.

      • DaddyBrownJr

        In reply to unfalln:
        Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller said “Bloomberg’s claim that it reduced the accuracy spec for Face ID is completely false and we expect Face ID to be the new gold standard for facial authentication. The quality and accuracy of Face ID haven't changed; it continues to be one in a million probability of a random person unlocking your iPhone with Face ID.”
        Is it "news" or just wild speculation? Seems to be the latter.


  8. GT Tecolotecreek

    Talk about a click bait headline, traffic must be down at Thurrot.com. Real question is how long will it take for Paul to post the Apple statement and update his article to reflect reality or if their will some X-Cuse for not posting it.


    Couple other points:

    If Microsoft could never perfect this in a relatively huge device, how could Apple’s component makers ever fit the technology into “a space a few centimeters across and millimeters deep”? A lot can change in 7 years in the technology field.

    ...you might want to just take a year off on this one. I’m sure the iPhone XS (“excess”) will get it right in late 2018

    Yeah, look at Pixel 2

    ...same conclusion I have: Apple will likely sell fewer handsets in a launch quarter than it did the year before for the first time ever.

    Because they can't build the iPhone X product fast enough, not because they don't work. And they will carry a huge order backlog into Q1-18

    “Signs of weakness in iPhone 8 sales means Apple could sell fewer handsets than last year, despite all the fanfare surrounding the iPhone X,” it notes. Yep.

    Think we will see the "weakness" in 8 sales is really pent up demand for X phone. Yep


    • Stooks

      In reply to GT_Tecolotecreek:

      You are not any better than Paul.


      You have no proof that iPhone X will sell well. You also have zero proof that poor iPhone 8 sales are because of people are waiting for the X.


      The iPhone 7 is out selling the 8 according to something I read over on Macrumors based on some sales data. That means people are still buying the 7 more than the 8 but people are buying the 8 as well. That is a lot of people buying iPhones right now. Who is waiting for the X?


      So is your guessing better than Paul's???

      • kgelner

        In reply to Stooks:

        How is there no proof the iPhone X will sell well? There is a 5-6 week backlog for iPhone X preorders now, far more than any other iPhone had after the launch weekend.

      • GT Tecolotecreek

        In reply to Stooks:

        From Apple: "We can see from the initial response, customer demand is off the charts," a spokeswoman told Reuters.

        Initial batch of iPhone X sold out in minutes

        Now backordered 5-6 weeks.

        I would say iPhone X is selling well...

      • GT Tecolotecreek

        In reply to Stooks:

        Fair point but not a total WAG:


        Investment firm UBS partnered with 451 Research to poll 3,840 consumers about their buying intentions over the next 90 days. The survey found that iPhone purchase interest is at its highest level since it reached 71 percent when the iPhone 6 lineup debuted in 2014.


        The survey suggests that the iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 8 have generated more interest from consumers than the last two years, in which the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6s were launched.


        And...


        As Apple likely predicted, it appears a large number of prospective iPhone buyers are waiting until the iPhone X goes up for preorder in late October rather than purchasing the more readily available iPhone 8, which launches Friday. Noted Apple watcher and industry analyst firm KGI Securities put out a report today, detailed by 9to5Mac, explaining how the existence of the iPhone X may be cutting into iPhone 8 preorders, which went live last weekend



      • monkeyboy

        In reply to Stooks:


        In an age of $99-299 Android phones outselling everything, and even domestic iOS users shrinking annually, I highly doubt a $999 minimum iPhone will suddenly recapture mindshare or marketshare among consumers in the US, and most definitely will not abroad, where $1000 in many countries can be months and months of wages.

        • Stooks

          In reply to monkeyboy:

          I agree and the shrinking market share of both iPhones and Mac's should be a concern for Apple. Last I read Android now has 85%, iPhone 14% and 1% for everything else. Also Mac market share was at 9.5% in April of 2016 according to Netmarketshare, and was down to 5.9% in September of this year.


          All that said I would not bet against Apple yet. They are not after market share so much. They focus on profit margins big time. That said with shrinking market share they are forced to raise prices. How long can that strategy last?


          I have lot's of iPhone using friends but none of them are going to pay $1000 for a phone. They will either go after the "$549" target which is the 32gig iPhone 7 right now or move to Android at some point. What is surprising from the people I know is that they pretty much don't care anymore. Smartphones are becoming so common place and the abilities so equal across the board that the wow factor is gone. It is a device that does a specific set of things for them. The hardware in terms of capability is pretty much equal when it comes to those common tasks and same goes for Android or iOS at this point.

          • GT Tecolotecreek

            In reply to Stooks:

            I have lot's of iPhone using friends but none of them are going to pay $1000 for a phone. They will either go after the "$549" target which is the 32gig iPhone 7 right now or move to Android at some point. What is surprising from the people I know is that they pretty much don't care anymore. Smartphones are becoming so common place and the abilities so equal across the board that the wow factor is gone. It is a device that does a specific set of things for them. The hardware in terms of capability is pretty much equal when it comes to those common tasks and same goes for Android or iOS at this point.


            To your point this is why Apple has both 8 and X releases this time around. (And continues to offer iPhone 7) Also for buyers this it where the value of the supporting (and consistent) ecosystem around the product starts to differentiate IOS from Android and buyers can choose which has better value.

        • GT Tecolotecreek

          In reply to monkeyboy:

          Don't think the $99-$299 Android market is where Apple is targeting.

          More like the $960 sammy Note 8 buyer.

  9. iPhoneX

    First gen Apple products are always a risk. There's no doubt the next iPhone X, or whatever they call it, will be superior. If you don't want it, don't buy it. Stay on your 6s or S8, Pixel or whatever.


    Having said that, Samsung's implementation of facial recognition (which could be fooled by a photograph) is much more embarrassing. Yes, it does have a touch sensor (albeit on the back). Personally, I just use a PIN.

    • wright_is

      In reply to iPhoneX:

      The problem is, either it works with a photo or it is unreliable, using current technology.

      It sounds like the iPhone X isn't going to improve on the old Lumia 950, which was OK, as long as you didn't have to wear glasses to read the screen...

  10. Win74ever

    This is the beginning of the end. iPhone won't be so successful from now on.

  11. GT Tecolotecreek

    And Bloomberg has come to the same conclusion I have: Apple will likely sell fewer handsets in a launch quarter than it did the year before for the first time ever.

    “Signs of weakness in iPhone 8 sales means Apple could sell fewer handsets than last year, despite all the fanfare surrounding the iPhone X,” it notes. Yep.


    Ahh nope, wrong again: iPhone units sold: 46.7 million, up 2% y/y, versus expectations of 46.1 million

  12. Ash Ganatra

    If Microsoft could never perfect this in a relatively huge device, how could Apple’s component makers ever fit the technology into “a space a few centimeters across and millimeters deep”?


    Paul, this is disappointing and inaccurate journalism at its finest, are you really trying to say Apple cant do things if Microsoft can't? I can give you an example where they can. i.e make a phone people want to buy. Hows Windows Mobile looking?

  13. cyrulnik

    This conspiracy theory stuff is so embarrassing for Paul. He literally states as fact this absurd theory that Apple leaked to Bloomberg that its FaceID would not work well. How does he not realize that this kind of posting completely undermines what is otherwise a very credible reputation?


    This is literally the single reason why I am not renewing my membership on this site.

  14. kgelner

    Apple has already stated to various reviewers the Bloomberg story was false, and that FaceID continues to be as secure as was talked about the keynote (one in a million chance of false positive).


    In all of the online reviews I've seen so far from early releases, FaceID has worked really well, and I've heard no mention of it not working for people. Also in the David Pogue review, he tried pictures and even a mask of his own face which did not work to unlock...


    I think you are completely wrong about this and it's not Apple that is going to have egg on the face... also judging from pre-order times it sure looks like you are completely wrong about units sold in a quarter (except possibly because of production limitations which were always a factor).

  15. melinau

    In order to justify the entry-price of around £1,000 in UK Apple needed a bit of a "WOW factor". That's the Facial (mis)Recognition. Otherwise why not simply buy a better-designed, cheaper similarly capable Samsung, or a much cheaper One-Plus? OK, so I'll agree that iOS is marginally superior to Android, but not to the extent of hundreds of pounds....


    Fact is that the 'phone market has reached "peak-tech" - the point at which, handsets become commoditised like PCs.

    There are few, if any genuine innovations that makers can use to differentiate their products from competitors' efforts, a particular problem for Apple as it struggles to maintain its Premium pricing and the profit that generates.


    As a self-confessed gadget-freak I'm hard-pushed to justify spending £6-800 on a 'phone just to get a quad display and silly gimmicks. My wife is right: "Buy a One-plus (or similar) and save your cash."

  16. gvan

    Hey Apple! Please put the finger print reader on the back and take my $1,000+. For a quick fix you could sell me a red or blue iPhone 8? Sitting on my iPhone loving wallet until then.

  17. junjunralriosa

    Tradingis the best thing that ever happened to me. I'm a student and I'm proud to say that I'm profiting really well. If you want to learn how totrade and profit fromtrading. Search SuperiorTrading System.

  18. Jorge Garcia

    While Apple served a good purpose in raising the bar and pushing the industry faster than it normally would have, their current method of locking in customers based on non-hardware things like iMessage and iTunes has become the most toxic thing in the consumer electronics industry now. I truly hope I'm around to see the day when they go belly-up...probably not going to happen, but I can dream :)

  19. Corbey

    If these rumors were about Microsoft, Paul would be screaming FUD as loud as he could. But since he got into bed with his new best friend, Google, he's happy to pass on every half-baked rumor about Apple.


    Actual reviews of the iPhone X should start appearing soon, and then we'll have some actual facts instead of Paul's FUD.

  20. Vladimir Carli

    I generally like this site but I honestly don't understand the animosity towards apple. What's the advantage if apple sells "fewer handsets than last year"? What's the advantage if Face ID doesn't work well? I see this place as a home for all tech enthusiast and I don't grasp how a tech enthusiast could hope that one of the most prominent tech companies fails.

    V.

  21. pwrof3

    According to Rene RItchie, Touch ID will be gone starting next year on all phones. Oh boy.

  22. chriswong13

    Iono. Maybe the iPhone 8 Plus is what I'll eventually wind up with. I know I'm waiting for the X, and if I can't get one in soonish timeframe, then I'll fall back to the iPhone 8 Plus. I'm wondering if others are thinking the same and we may see a bump in 8/8 Plus sales after the initial X release...

  23. Tony Barrett

    FaceID is inconvenient at best, annoying at worst. You have to pick up the phone, look at it in exactly the right way, then hope it unlocks. I can leave my phone on the desk without even picking it up and unlock it with a front touch sensor. The touch sensor is also far easier to use with payment systems, and other apps that use it for authentication.

    I can see a lot of people going back to PIN unlock to bypass it, but then what's the point with that? Apple's shiny new, astonishingly expensive handset becomes just another device (with an annoying notch).

    It's also going to be interesting to watch the failure rates on these devices. Very, very fragile by the sounds of it, with a whole bunch of sensitive components crammed into a small space at the top of the screen.

    • kgelner

      In reply to ghostrider:

      Early reviews say it's more convenient to use for ApplePay because there is no recognition delay unlike a fingerprint sensor. No review videos have made it look fragile to use in practice at all, they all say the recognition is instant and works well. I think you are just not used to a good implementation of facial recognition so you are thinking of all the slow image-only based approaches phones use today...

    • petermaude

      In reply to ghostrider: given you have a review unit, would you mind sharing your other opinions about how the phone works ?


  24. smoothbond

    I love how Paul reports hearsay as fact. If this 'report' was directed at Microsoft Paul wouldn't give it the time of day without validating it first. But because it supports his suspicion that FaceID is going to be broken at launch forget about fact checking let's just report it. Apple has already refuted this, believe them or not, a week from now the reviews will be in and we can all decide.

  25. wright_is

    When this was announced, I said that this was unlikely to be more reliable than the sensor in the Lumia 950(XL). That worked reasonably well for people without glasses, but it never worked reliably for me, 9 out of 10 times, I'd have to remove my glasses to get it to work. Even training it with the glasses on was next to impossible, most times, it didn't recognize my face in training mode.

    In the end, it was quicker and easier to use the PIN to unlock the phone. I think a lot of iPhone X owners might come to the same conclusion...

  26. Tsang Man Fai

    Face recognition can never be as convenient as fingerprint recognition, as one needs to adjust the phone so that his face can be captured by the camera. It is not as natural as placing the thumb on the screen/back.

  27. cawfehman

    Total guess here, but could the whole supply issue be that Apple realizes what a potential disaster it has and is biding time to mitigate some of the issues while at the same time getting more devices out to the public (its hardcore fans) to get a bigger feedback and test pool?



  28. Michael Rivers

    Does anyone know why Apple didn't just put the fingerprint sensor on the back like Google does? No bezel, no problem.

  29. Sprtfan

    Did the sensor not work well in the Kinect? I really don't know and never had one but was under the impression that the Kinect worked ok but there was not much need or demand for it.

    • Michael Rivers

      In reply to Sprtfan:

      It's inconsistent at best. My sister and her boyfriend use Kinect to sign in to their Xbox One. My sister can be sitting in front of the TV for hours, and it doesn't recognize her. Then her boyfriend walks in the room, and Cortana say "Hi!" instantly, every time. It's pretty funny.

  30. Daekar

    So... I'm not sure I'm taking away the same thing from the Bloomberg quote as Paul is. To me, "reduce the accuracy" could mean that they've relaxed the manufacturing precision requirements to ease manufacture, and as a result the measurements will have a slightly higher margin of error. This doesn't actually mean that the end-user experience will necessarily be compromised in any way perceivable IF they also widen the tolerated variation on the algorithm that compares measured data to the reference data constructed of the authorized user. It will decrease the security a bit from that 1 in a million number, but... meh.


    Don't get me wrong, I still think Apple made the wrong choice here - Face ID has to be INCREDIBLY well implemented in terms of convenience for it to compete with fingerprint. But I can't really agree that the sky is falling yet. We don't really know because what they've told the press doesn't actually equate to claiming a compromised end-user experience.

    • skullboy0

      In reply to Daekar:

      It's just Paul's typical anti-Apple slant on any Apple news.


      Other than reports of a couple of 8 Pluses having issues with the case coming apart, I'm not aware of any "battery reliability issues" with the 8 & 8 Plus, & I own an 8.

    • macguy59

      In reply to Daekar:

      No matter how good it is, it will always be slower than TouchID. Especially for Apple Pay

    • jrswarr

      In reply to Daekar:

      It's never a good sign that spec's need to be dialed back in order to meet manufacturing demand. I think that Apple has made a huge mistake not including fingerprint sensing in the X.

      • HellcatM

        In reply to jrswarr:

        Didn't jive with me either. You iknow they have the tiny handed kids working day and night to crank these things out. They probably have millions on shalves and the "We have to lessen the specs to meet demand" is the lie. They never could do the higher spec in the first place.

    • skane2600

      In reply to Daekar:

      You don't start relaxing specifications just weeks before you start selling a new product unless you have a really good reason. Actually there's probably never a good reason. You wait until your product has been used by real-world customers for awhile and then you see if you can adjust the specs.

      • kgelner

        In reply to skane2600:

        "You don't start relaxing specifications just weeks before you start selling a new product"


        Exactly, which is a strong indication Apple is telling the truth here and there is no "relaxing the standards" in ay way that affects quality of manufacture. I can't even believe this article is a thing when there are multiple review videos up at this point showing FaceID working really well.

      • red.radar

        In reply to skane2600:

        The reason is yield. They probably want to make sure their supply chain is full of parts. I am not taking this to mean the sky is falling.


        I am reserving judgement till it ships.

      • Chris Payne

        In reply to skane2600:

        Further, your suppliers need to know this MONTHS before a product launch. You can't just change this a few weeks out due to the time required in the production process. So this decision was probably made by Apple a long time ago before production ramp up even started.

        Which means this isn't really news... except that Apple just started telling people (or this just leaked) now. The iPhone X was always going to launch this way.

        • skane2600

          In reply to unkinected:

          We don't know the exact timeline, but whether it's a last-minute change before launch or a last-minute change during initial manufacturing the fundamental risk is the same. Clearly if the iPhone X was "always going to launch this way" there would have been no need to communicate a change in specs.

  31. glenn8878

    This means 2nd generation will be the better one. They should discount iPhone 8 to makeup for lower expectations of iPhone X.

    • Lauren Glenn

      In reply to glenn8878:

      As with all Apple products, when they make something revolutionary that's a change from previous versions, get the second revision. Much like Microsoft and the "don't upgrade until SP2" thing.


      I still use my iPod Classic 6th gen as a good example. A great device made much better with 7th gen (2.0.4+). The first version was very buggy.... bad sound reproduction that clipped everything and people pointing out the DSP issues AND having it connect to your PC saying you had to restore it often when you actually didn't. They eventually fixed it but it really wasn't until 2.0.4 where it became much better, thinner, and had more storage. I still use mine but with solid state storage (currently at 400GB with room for even more)

    • BarretBlake

      In reply to glenn8878:

      Hahahahhahaahahhahahhahahahaaa... Apple... discount something... hehehe. Thanks. I needed a laugh today.

  32. Bob Shutts

    How does one "secretly" inform the press?

      • nbplopes

        In reply to unkinected:


        “Apple quietly told suppliers they could reduce the accuracy of the face-recognition technology to make it easier to manufacture, according to people familiar with the situation" - Bloomberg


        As far as Ii've read know Apple did not inform the press of anything. Of course we can conspire and say that Apple asked to someone to secretly tell someone on the news that it has reduced the accuracy of FaceID to meet demands.


        On another note I've not ever seen Apple making announcements of things it tells supplier as far as production specs are concerned. It is just work as usual.


        But even if we believed that Apple somehow told the press about this why would the company do that?


        Paul picked this up and rewrites history saying: "Apple has secretly told the press that iPhone X facial recognition will not work well".


        Again why would a company do that?


        Than using the Bloomberg sources he concludes:


        "I’m sorry, what? “A less accurate Face ID will still be far better than the existing Touch ID”? That cannot be true. "


        So?


        This looks like Fake News. Good fabricated news is of course based on reality, this looks like one of them.


        But why would Paul do that?


        So one can choose the enter this rabbits hole or not. I'll stay aside.


        Cheers.


        PS: Personally I never buy a 1st version of anything. That is why I usually go for the S versions of the iPhone. And in the turn of a cycle I usually buy the last version of the previous cycle release cycle of any device or vendor I'm interested in. Why? Because they are at the peak of maturity in that cycle. Case in case, the iPhone 8. Its hard to resistI know, but it always pays itself way better in the end from an experience point of view. Apple its no exception in that regard for the most part.


        Mind you some companies escape this reason. Sometimes even the 3rd and 4rth version still have not got it.

  33. kzrystof

    Tough year for Google and Apple.

  34. Chris_Kez

    Whoa whoa whoa whoa. I'm no Apple fanboy but let's pump the brakes here. If we're just going by the Bloomberg story, Apple HAS NOT said that "iPhone X facial recognition will not work well." (emphasis mine).

    Bloomberg reports that a source has told them "Apple relaxed some of the specifications for Face ID", but, the Bloomberg story continues, "It’s not clear how much the new specs will reduce the technology’s efficacy. At the phone’s official unveiling in September, executives boasted that there was a one in a million chance that an interloper could defeat Face ID to unlock a phone. Even downgraded, it will probably still be far more accurate than Touch ID, where the odds of someone other than the owner of a phone being able to unlock it are one in 50,000."

    So we do not know what the new "standards" are, or in what way the specifications have been "relaxed". We do not know how-- or if-- this will impact real-world usage.

    EDIT: to be crystal clear, I am not saying Face ID will be "better" or "worse" than Touch ID. Face ID may be just as bad as the average face unlock experience has been on other phones. Personally I would have liked Apple to also put a fingerprint sensor on the back of iPhone X so that consumers had a choice.

    • Sprtfan

      In reply to Chris_Kez:

      Yeah, I think the "A less accurate Face ID will still be far better than the existing Touch ID" can be taken in the context of that Face ID is better at reducing the chances of someone other than the owner being able to unlock the phone. If the new specs just reduce the false positives from 1 in a million to 1 in 500,000 it shouldn't make much of a difference.

  35. jrswarr

    Paul - do you even have a Kinect? Facial recognition works just fine - thank you very much. The disaster is that it just never caught on. It was a very nice piece of engineering & hopefully that engineering will find it's way into other products from MS. In addition, to limit Kinect to facial recognition alone does not even begin to scratch the surface of the cool things that the Kinect could have been programmed to do.


    • JacobTheDev

      In reply to jrswarr:

      I've never had luck with the Kinect on my Xbox One. It confuses everyone in my family, and sometimes it just doesn't see someone at all. It's so inaccurate that we just had to disable it.


      I will say that Windows Hello on my Surface Laptop, which also uses facial recognition, is very good. It still has issues sometimes, but 9 times out of 10 it accurately and quickly recognizes me and unlocks.

    • StudBen

      In reply to jrswarr:

      The technology is obviously there, it comes done to implementation. I use facial rec on my desktop PC with an Intel Webcam and it works great, that doesn't mean it will work great on the iPhone and I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case also won't be surprised if it does work great and I'm sure with software it can be improved through updates. I personally just don't think it has as great a use case on a smartphone I generally don't want to have to pick up my phone to unlock it, I prefer to just use my finger then look down at it. So for me my preference on a phone in how I use it is fingerprint so even if the facial unlock works flawlessly with zero delay and no hiccups on the iPhone I'm still upset that it has no fingerprint throw it on the back simple. I feel having both is the best solution personally and am upset that they did not go that route.

    • wright_is

      In reply to jrswarr:

      Try listening to Leo Laporte, he used to use it and the Kinect couldn't tell the difference between his wife and her son.

  36. PincasX

    And here is Apple's response to Bloomberg's report:

    "Bloomberg's claim that Apple has reduced the accuracy spec for Face ID is completely false and we expect Face ID to be the new gold standard for facial authentication."


    Poor Paul, that was a really short victory lap.


    • Tony Barrett

      In reply to PincasX:

      Exactly what else would Apple say? If they're telling suppliers, under a strict NDA, and Bloomberg get's wind of it, are Apple going to come clean right on the launch of their shiny new, super high profit margin, ugly as a pig phone? Don't think so.

      • PincasX

        In reply to ghostrider:

        For the purposes of answering your question let's assume the Bloomberg reporting is 100% accurate. Apple has a few options:


        1. To not respond. This is their normal approach no matter how accurate they are.
        2. To respond off the record "sources who know say blah blah blah blah"
        3. To have an official response that is ambiguous.


        The fact that they responded on the record in an unequivocal way certainly doesn't mean they are not lying but it opens them up to a significant class action lawsuit if it turns out the are if not an FCC investigation.

      • GT Tecolotecreek

        In reply to ghostrider:

        Problem with your scenario is Apple is a public company and making deliberate false statements is criminal, with responsibility going all the way to the CEO. These phones have been in the wild for months (with Apple employees) and if their was an issue with functionality they will have fixed it or delayed the product release. A delayed release would have a short term negative impact on stock prices, but trivial compared to the hit a major product fail like Face ID not working would cause to their reputation. Either way we will have an answer is about a week as shipments start.

    • monkeyboy

      In reply to PincasX:


      Apple also cried when Consumers Reports said how mad their new laptops were, and only revised their score after Apple threw a hissy fit, changed software stuff, and demanded a new review.

  37. Bob Shutts

    So Apple has denied the Bloomberg story concerning facial recognition being downgraded. "Bloomberg's claim that Apple has reduced the accuracy spec for Face ID is completely false and we expect Face ID to be the new gold standard for facial authentication."


    thurott.com: your new source for fake news.


    ?

    • ym73

      In reply to Bob_Shutts:


      How is Thurrott.com the source for fake news? Paul's post is based on a Bloomberg article. Bloomberg is generally considered a reliable source for news. Therefore if the story is fake, the blame is all with Bloomberg, not Thurrott.com.

    • skane2600

      In reply to Bob_Shutts:

      Because if a company denies a story it cant be true? In any case, the one in a million figure is obviously made up.

      • PincasX

        In reply to skane2600:

        What is the basis for that claim?

        • skane2600

          In reply to PincasX:

          If you think carefully about how you could come up with such a number, you'd get it. It would involve knowing how much people's facial characteristics vary across the entire world, the accuracy of the sensor and the efficacy of the software algorithm that determines whether there's a match. Of the three, only the accuracy of the sensor can be measured as a practical matter. There may be other factors that would affect the accuracy of the prediction.

          • PincasX

            In reply to skane2600:

            That doesn’t explain how the number is “obviously made up”.

            • skane2600

              In reply to PincasX:

              Once it's been demonstrated that the number can't be arrived at scientifically what explanation is left?


                • skane2600

                  In reply to PincasX:

                  I believe I just did. Or do you think Apple has done a 3D scan of everyone in the world?


                  Here's Apple's Face ID security document. Notice that they don't say anything about how they came up with the 1 in 1,000,000 probability, they just state it as a fact:

                  images.apple.com/business/docs/FaceID_Security_Guide.pdf


                • PincasX

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  You didn’t demonstrate anything, you offered conjecture. And the irony that you can’t offer any basis for you claim but want to criticize Apple for offer how got the number is awesome.


                  To really get where the number comes up you would need to know the number of facial features that Apple uses in their facial map and the variation in each of those festures across humanity and lastly how common it’s is for certain facial features to be aligned with others. Apple doesn’t need to scan all of humanity to figure this out. Most facial features are based on bone sturcute and the scientist community has been collecting data for some time. It’s why athropologists can look at a skull and tell you a lot about what someone looked like.


                  Additinally, in the paper Apple talks about how there are other factors that impact that number like it based on random stranger, it goes down with relatives, and age, you have to be over 13. So it isn’t something the pulled out of the air.


                  I doubt it it is just made up but the reality is I don’t know what the data points are thT Apple is using not the variation of said data points and neither do you. So neither of us can really do the math to check the number and know the if the million number is made up. What seems made up is your claim as you can’t offer any better argument than “just think about it” with no data to offer. My guess is just want to believe. Lucky for you belief doesn’t require data so carry on.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to PincasX:

                  You can theorize all you want about bone structure negating the need to study all faces (or even a statistically significant percentage) but it's still just a theory, not a proven fact. Yes, scientists can look at a skull and tell you something about that individual's appearance but not necessarily about anyone else's appearance. If you can point to some scientific paper that claims that facial features of everyone in the world (or again a statistically valid subset) is known based on some common features, I'm all ears.


                  You should also understand that Apple's system uses neural nets whose method of determining an outcome in unknowable. While a conventional algorithm can be analyzed to determine is efficacy, the efficacy of a NN can only be approximately determined by testing it against a large amount of data. www.technologyreview.com/s/604087/the-dark-secret-at-the-heart-of-ai/


                  In conclusion, the lack of knowledge about facial features across the entire world combined with lack of understanding of how the "algorithm" works means that no credible estimation of correctness can be determined.

                • PincasX

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  Ahh.. your conjecture is factually accurate while mine is complete dismissible. Confirmation bias is a powerful thing.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to PincasX:

                  There's not much conjecture in my claim. I have a 25-year-old Neural Network textbook on my shelf that says the same thing as the article I referenced about the inability to know how a NN comes up with an answer. You probably disagree, but IMO anyone claiming that Apple has enough data on people's faces to make a determination of the accuracy of their face recognition system has more of a burden of proof than anyone who disputes it (even if the inscrutability of neural nets were not a factor).


                  If MS, Google, or Apple announced a probability of a bug in their software or hardware would you believe it? Why is this particular claim of Apple's any different?


                  Finally, keep in mind that I'm not making any claims about the efficacy of their system, for all I know it could be more accurate than 1 in 1,000,000, I'm just questioning their ability to estimate that efficacy with reasonable accuracy.

                • PincasX

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  You are putting words in my mouth. I never said Apple had enough data to back the claim. In brought up dat points that would need to be known. I also said neither of has had enough data to know if the claim was accurate. That is a claim you seem to agree with now since you have changed your stance from claiming that Apple’s claim was “obviously made up”” to “just questioning” their ability. It would seem that at this point we would agree in that we don’t konw if the claim is accurate due to a lack of data.


                • skane2600

                  In reply to PincasX:

                  I haven't changed my position at all. I was justifying my conclusion that it was "obviously made up" on the basis that it was impossible for Apple or anyone else to prove their 1 in 1,000,000 claim. You were certainly presenting arguments to support Apple's claim. although it's true you didn't declare their numbers as valid. For someone who had no opinion on the merits of the claim, you certainly had a lot of things to say, trying to refute some of my arguments while ignoring others.

                • PincasX

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  By the way, I’m curious why you are so admit that Apple is lying sans data to back that up but have no issue with the blatant falsehoods in this artical. It curious.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to PincasX:

                  I've made no claim that Paul's article was true, so I don't know why you're bringing that up.

                  Some conclusions don't require data to justify them, just an understanding of certain logical and domain-specific knowledge . For example, I don't need to see the plans for any particular perpetual-motion machine to know none of them will work (I'm not comparing such machines to Apple's facial recognition system, I'm just illustrating a general principle.)


                  You simply cannot prove the probability of an error in any complex system with significant precision. It's a limitation that doesn't uniquely apply to Apple. If I saw Google, or Microsoft or any other tech company make such a claim, I'd call them out too.

                • PincasX

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  Again you are stawmanimg. I didn’t say you said Paul was telling the truth I said you are selective on calling out people that are not or that you think are not telling the truth. Again, conformation bias is a rough.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to PincasX:

                  I assumed you had a rational (if flawed) reason for referring to "Pom poms". My mistake, it was merely a random insult.

                • PincasX

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  I assumes you had a rational reason for tossing out lying accusations. My mistake, it was merely a random insult.

                  You sure love a double standard.


                • skane2600

                  In reply to PincasX:

                  I wrote many posts justifying my claim that Apple made their numbers up (I didn't say "lie", BTW), and you think it's equivalent to your unexplained Pom Pom insult. LOL.

                • PincasX

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  Your argument amounts to "because I said so" which I'm sure is super compelling to you but not worth much past that. You are right that you didn't say "lie" you said "made up" and in the context that you used it they meant the same thing. But do your pedantic tap dance all you want.


                  Ohh and I explained the Pom Pom thing but since you missed it i'll break it down for you. You are a cheerleader for Paul. Cheerleaders have pom poms. Okay, now you are all "But I disagreed with Paul that one time. What's your evidence?" well it's the same bar that you use for yourself, because I said so.

                • PincasX

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  this is what I love about this site. There is Paul that makes up crap and his sycophants that come to cheer lead for him. Shake those Pom poms


                • skane2600

                  In reply to PincasX:

                  Having failed to prove your point you now resort to insults. If you think I'm a cheerleader for Paul you must be new around here. I've posted comments that disagree with him on many occasions.

                • PincasX

                  In reply to skane2600:

                  I not only proved my point but so did you. Ohh way you are still doing the mental gymnastics where saying someone is catagoricaly wrong is the same as simply questioning if they are wrong. And I’m not new, nice Pom poms

    • HellcatM

      In reply to Bob_Shutts:
      Or apple is pulling a trump and just lying to save face.


Leave a Reply